Sheffield’s Mayor will today buy a poppy to launch the Royal British Legion’s annual appeal officially – as preparations are finalised for Remembrance Sunday events.
Coun Vickie Priestley will take her poppy outside the Town Hall at 11.45am this morning, before the South Yorkshire Poppy Appeal launch in Barnsley’s newly-designated Pals Square at 10.30am tomorrow.
Christine Spencer, who chairs the Royal British Legion South Yorkshire branch, said: “Last year’s appeal raised £1.6 million in South and West Yorkshire – South Yorkshire probably raised half that.”
Royal British Legion funding supports projects ranging from recovery centres for present day forces injured in Afghanistan to mobility scooters for elderly veterans, she added.
Poppies will be sold in shops, pubs and on streets across the county over the coming weeks.
Sheffield is hosting its two traditional Remembrance Day services on Sunday, November 10.
The main civic event begins with veterans, reservists and cadets gathering on Holly Street, behind City Hall, at 10.30am, to march into Barker’s Pool for the open-air service.
Wreaths will be laid by different groups, this year including war widows, before a two minute silence, hymns and prayers.
Vince McDonagh, secretary of Sheffield Join Council of Ex Service Associations, said: “We are urging members of the public to come along and show their support.”
A ban on the firing of traditional maroons to start the silence will remain.
Mr McDonagh said: “It is unfortunately a health and safety issue – military pyrotechnics cannot be set off within 100 metres of a public place, even though they are regularly used within the Albert Hall.
“We request that anyone wanting to lay wreaths, but are not in an official wreath party, to lay their wreaths after the parade has marched off from Barker’s Pool.
“Anyone in wheelchairs will be directed by stewards. Those wishing to participate in the parade must have a helper. Otherwise you will have a dedicated enclosure.”
A separate service takes place in Weston Park at the York and Lancaster Regiment memorial, organised by the regimental association.
The event begins at 10.40am – although members of the public are asked to be there for 10.30am – and includes a parade by members of Sheffield University Officer Training Corps and the Yorkshire Regiment.
Wreaths will be laid by members of the regimental association before a service led by Canon Christopher Burke, of Sheffield Cathedral. The following day, on Monday, November 11, there will be a short Armistice Day service in Barker’s Pool from 10.45am.
Plans are also already under way for the 2014 Armed Forces Day on June 21. As well as veterans it will involve more cadets and reservists - some dressed as Sheffield Pals about to take the King’s Shilling.
Services taking place in memory of fallen
Services and parades involving past and present armed forces members are taking place around South Yorkshire to mark Remembrance Day on Sunday, November 10.
In Rotherham, Royal British Legion standard bearers are to lead a parade including civic leaders and the uniformed services, leaving Effingham Street at 9.15 am and marching to Rotherham Minster for a service at 9.45 am.
Afterwards, the parade will lead the congregation to the Cenotaph in Clifton Park for the 11 am silence and wreath-laying.
In Barnsley, the Remembrance Service will take place at 11am by the war memoriual, outside the Town Hall, led by the Mayor, Coun Ken Richardson.
Doncaster hosts a ceremony at the town’s Cenotaph at 11am, followed by a parade to Doncaster Minster for the Service of Remembrance at 11.45am.
Numerous smaller events will take place on the Sunday at town and village churches and memorials.
Further events are taking place on Monday, November 11 - Armistice Day.
On the Monday, Barnsley’s Mayor will hold a two-minute silence accompanied by members of the Royal British Legion, representatives from veterans’ associations and school children.